December 31, 2016

Happy New Year to all of you!


Well!  Here we are, another year is currently flushing down the sewage pipes, while a new one is climbing up.  Ok, that wasn't very optimistic, was it?  I am looking forward to the new year actually, with hope ~ like most of you, I imagine.  

Romeo and I started off this evening with a bang ~ we got into a shouting match, and now we are both avoiding each other.  I give it another 30 min to an hour.  Not the best way to start a new year.

Unfortunately the weather is about as wonderful as the emotional atmosphere.  It has been alternately sleeting and raining for the past hour.  Ugh.  Glad I am not out in that.  

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am not much of one to make resolutions, but I have a couple that I plan to work on.  The gym today was pretty quiet ~ mostly the "die hard" type that are always there lest a pound or two creeps up on them during the holidays, with a few newbies (mostly women, are you surprised?) trying to get into the hang of improving their fitness, or to lose some weight.  Based on past years I've noticed that about 90% the newbies will hang in for a couple of months, then qietly disappear.  Making time for the gym is not easy when you've spent years avoiding it.  It's tough this time of year when it's so blasted cold outside, along with the rain/snow/sleet that was happening 30 minutes ago, to simply go outside for a walk.  Not fun.  Dog walkers know what I'm talking about, because there's no gym for dogs.....hmmmm, that might be a great idea.  Oh, wait, I think that's called doggy day care, which is riduculously expensive.  I suppose it beats having your couch chewed up when you get home from work though.

Happy New Year & Be Safe Out There!

Love, 365

December 30, 2016

Friday musings

Castle in Stuttgart, Germany (Bing)
Talk about isolated.....

It's Friday, and I have the day off from work, which is quite welcome after the craziness of the past 3 days.  Everyone wants to use the last of their FSA money, although truth is they have until March (usually) to use up the $ put aside.  And, getting that filling done, or onlay (or whatever) before they have to meet their deductible again.  Not to mention the filling/onlay/crown that came out, and the most memorable ~ a six year old who was chewing on a marble and broke his baby molar to the gumline.  "I really have no idea why he was chewing on a marble"  Yeah, well, kids do crazy stuff and there's usually no real reason why, lol.  He will be in next week to have the rest of the tooth removed and have a space maintainer put in, because teeth have an unsettling habit of moving around when a space opens up.  I'm sort of surprised he isn't having pain with the exposed nerves, but he was a happy little guy, throwing his bouncy ball over the desk at least 4 times.  I surprised him by catching it 3 out of 4 times....what can I say, racquetball really sharpens the reflexes.

My coworker that will be leaving in January was off this week, so it was particularly crazy with one less person.  I'm glad she had the week off, especially after all the crap she experienced regarding PTO (paid time off).  Will our absent OM be surprised (when she gives her notice)?  I doubt it.  In my more cynical moments, I see purposeful manipulation.  I have lost a lot of trust in her over the past month.  

I am still on break from school, which won't start back up again until Jan 17th.  I have two classes this semester, an online class in anthropology "human behavioral ecology" (whatever that means) and a history class "post revolutionary Mexico".  The history class doesn't start until mid March, but when it does, my schedule will ramp up to crazy, as it's a 10 week class, where many classes are 16 weeks.  It sounds like a good idea, but I may hate myself for it once class & homework/study begins.

In a very short 8 weeks I'll be traveling to San Antonio, where most of the immediate family lives.  I don't normally make resolutions, but I have two ~ lose 5 lbs (so cliche, isn't it?) and get a little personal counseling.  I've been having some rather dark thoughts and a bit of self loathing and I need a little bit of help.  It would be nice to find tools to improve my confidence in my dealings with others, as it gets a bit old as a door mat.  

Love, 365

December 23, 2016

And so this is Christmas......

Our tree...

I was reading Ami's story about Christmas past, which of course made me reminisce of my own past Christmases....when I was a kid, Mom always made sure the my sister and I had lots of presents under the tree.  She didn't discuss it when we were small, but as an adult, she admitted to me that she really never had gifts, other than maybe an orange or some clothes that were handed down from her older sisters.
An orange?
I mean, thats storybook type stuff.  My Grandparents were farmers in Pennsylvania.  They had 8 kids.  My Mom was the second to youngest.  From what I gather, my Grandparents were extremely frugal.  One memory that comes to mind ~ Grandma didn't like peppermint, so saved all of it in a jar to give to my sister and I when we came for visits.  It would be mostly stuck together, but dang, there it was. There were a few hand me down toys in a box under the old secretary desk we could play with, which is probably why we did stuff outside.  One summer my Grandmother cleverly sent the two of us to pick wild strawberries so that she could make jam for Grandpa.  Have you ever picked wild strawberries?  They're like the size of the tip of your pinky.  

To have enough to for jam, well, we were out there for hours.  Like I said, clever.  But I digress.

My Mom obviously wanted us to have lots of gifts under the tree.  She said she saved all year long, and probably put things in layaway as well.  Our gifts weren't expensive, but there were plenty.  I have photos of us opening gifts, but my sister has all those slides that we keep talking about having digitized but haven't done yet.  One memorable year we had dolls with cradles, and an ironing board with an iron that actually got a tiny bit warm when you plugged it in.  In that particular photo, my sis is in her pajamas, and she had obviously wet the bed that night, so she'll probably want to can that shot.  Isn't it funny that my parents didn't make her change so that the photos wouldn't show it?  But wow, it's for real, so I recall it fondly ~ although I wasn't the one in pissy pajamas, ha ha.

These days we don't go to far out in gift giving.  My sister and I only exchange birthday gifts.  Next year I may agree to join the gift exchange, but I keep saying no in case I get a name for someone that I have no idea what to get.  I have enough trouble with the family I do buy for!  And now that it's just Romeo and I and other than #2 son who is 33, I really don't want to decorate.  Romeo wants it, so it's there.  This year he said he would put up all the stuff, but as we had to have it, I didn't want it up the week before Christmas, so I ended up doing it again, the weekend after Thanksgiving.  

So, although my family is as dysfunctional as most everyone else's, I have wonderful memories of Christmas as a kid. I hope my kids look back and feel the same....I did pretty much what Mom did, although I wasn't as good about saving all year.  

I hope you have a great Christmas, no matter what traditions you enjoy.
Love, 365

December 20, 2016

So, it's official..... :-(

Oh, I will miss her....

My coworker *Julie let me know today that she ~finally~ received her offer of another nearly $3 more per hour, benefits, loads of PTO, etc.  I am happy for her....but sad not only for myself, but for the rest of us who will no longer be able to get answers to our questions on the program we use (she knows more than all of us combined), her numbers sense (I've always envied numbers people, cause I ain't one, ha ha), her ability to laugh and seems to usually be in a great mood.  Yeah, there have been a few patients who complained that she was "aggressive", but I never saw that ~ and we sit right next to each other.  The reason she is leaving?  Our OM gave her a really crappy 50 cents more an hour for a raise, and told her "it's because of your attitude".  
Firstly ~ if you have a really smart employee that has the ability to run circles around the rest of us (me included) with her intelligence, you try to resolve the attitude problem, right?  You don't insult them with some stupid pittance of a raise.  
Secondly ~ the attitude problem was between *Julie and the OM.  The OM should have worked it out instead of being threatened by the intelligence and capabilities of a new employee.  Sadly, there is another employee who is likely going to leave over an issue the OM should have fixed before she went on her month long trip to India.  Or, better yet, she should just resign and stick to her real estate business.  She isn't a very capable OM.  I have been in her shoes.  I would never treat people the way she has ~ vacation time was screwed up, she took a month to get back to *Julie on vacation and her raise (that's simply ridiculous, she was "punishing" her for standing her ground).  

So, the result is that around the 3rd week in January, we will be looking yet again for another front desk person and probably a dental assistant as well.  The worst part is that the dental assistant who will probably leave is best friends with the second one, who will probably leave as well.  Leaving a very capable and nice Dr without assistants.  Did you know?  Dentists can't do anything without them.  Rats.
One more bit of news: Romeo's charter school lost their charter (mostly because they don't have enough students, I guess there's a minimum/maximum and they didn't reach their goal).  So, at the end of May, he will be looking for work again.
Can you believe it?  It's like we can't win for trying.
The city school district also announced that they are looking for substitute teachers to finish the school year, and they plan to hire from new college graduates to fill the over 200 openings they currently have.  
If that isn't the stupidest thing I've ever heard.......fucking idiots.  And they wonder why New Mexico has such low ratings in education.  Romeo's class was being "taught" by a sub who simply gave the kids handouts.  All the kids had A's.  Until Romeo tested them.  Wake up call, anyone?

Well, gotta go and wrap a couple of gifts.  Have a great week!
Love, 365

December 11, 2016

It's that crazy time of year.....

The month of December is out of hand.....baking needs to be done, gifts purchased-wrapped-boxed-shipped to out of town family, more baking and a few parties.  Even though my class is over for the semester, I don't have much leisure time.  I actually took a 1/2 day off on Thursday so that I could get started on some of my baking, and I woke up this morning and noticed that all of the gingerbread cookies are already gone.  Sheesh.

I am very happy that I have a dishwasher.....

Our racquetball group had a semi-annual party yesterday, and included a birthday party for two of our members...and I had the request for that damn carrot cake again.  I swear I've baked 4 of them this year.  Included in this mess is the goody bags for friends...I hope the gingerbread cookies in the bags are still there by Monday, lol.

Christmas tree in front of the Inn at Loretto in Santa Fe

Romeo and I took a short trip to Santa Fe yesterday morning to do a bit of Christmas shopping.  I ended up with a cool pair of vintage cowgirl boots, and Romeo found a pair of boots as well.  Just to show you that there are still things we don't know about each other ~ even after celebrating our 37th anniversary 11 days ago ~ as a teenager he had a whole wardrobe of cowboy boots, and hardly wore anything else.  When you live in El Paso, you can cross the border and custom order boots for a song back then.  I was really surprised, because in all the time we've known each other, I've never seen him wear them.  

Our work party is on the 22nd, and I'm hoping that my coworker *Jean ("I'm not angry") will have quit the childhood paradigm of "you're invisible/dead/insignificant" to me by then.  We worked together on Friday, and she did her best to ignore me the entire 5 hours.  Which was really OK because I had a lot of things to accomplish on a rather short day.  Our Dr was in a karate class....he is a master black belt (or something more impressive, I don't really understand how they rank your level in karate) so it was just us and two hygienists.....a quiet day.  And also a short day for me, but I used that time to ~ yeah, more baking.  I'm tired of baking already, and not done yet.

I hope all of you have a great Sunday & a marvelous week ~ hopefully you won't have to go to a mall.
Love, 365

December 5, 2016

Some shopping done, tree up & decorated

I've had most of my ornaments for many years...

Part of the fun is the memories of past Christmas's ~ good and not so good

I notice that past "not so good" Christmas's ~ for me ~ are just as cherished as the really great ones.  Many times I end up feeling thankful that we have made it through those times.  It wasn't that the holiday was bad, it was the circumstances around it.  It feels pretty good to look back and see that we are all still together with love.

Shopping is another matter.  So difficult.  When my kids were young, you always had a finger on what they were enjoying....and many times you could entice them to write a letter to Santa to aid you in what to get.  With my autistic grandson, I always have to think about it, and look at suggestions online.  Last year his Daddy and I bought the same gift.  This year he is a bit older, but not a lot more vocal.  And I don't live nearby so that I can get clues from what he plays with.  Once I bought a big farm tractor for him ~ his Dad loved those ~ he played with it for 5 minutes, and then left it sitting in the corner ~ probably forever ~ which taught me that I need to think harder on what he might enjoy.  My son promises to send me a few ideas, and I do have a few of my own based on pics of him that I get every month...usually involved in something.  One was dancing, which was really adorable, but I promise not to get him a karaoke machine, lol.

Then there is Mom, who is a difficult to buy for in a completely different way.  She no longer sews, reads, or gets out much.  She rarely cooks ~ mostly she guides her caregiver as he cooks.  Buying her clothes is totally out of the question.  Sis and I laugh about it, and talk over options.  I managed to finish shopping for her, and need to mail it off next week.  I am counting on Amazon for my grandson and son who live in Texas.

Enjoy your week!
Love, 365

December 4, 2016

I sent a letter....but not to Santa.

My coworker is warming up a frozen cake.....she was hungry....and it's cake

What a week.  It started off rather snarky, but morphed into a more "normal" (what ever that is) routine.  Actually it improved after the OM left for her month long trip to India.  (and yes, I agree, that a month in India might be 28 days too long)  

I wrote a letter to the Dean of Students, the Dean of the Arts & Sciences, and the Provost of UNM.  The main point of the letter:

It has been my experience that UNM does not value the working, non-traditional student, which is exclusionary despite a policy of inclusion.    

.....the impetus for the letter?  A history class I registered for the spring.  The following weekend after registration I received an e-mail that "a class you registered for doesn't actually exist", and you will need to re-register for the class which ~ instead of being from 5pm to 7:30 on Tuesdays, it will now be on Tues & Thurs from 11am to 12:15.  This change in the schedule puts the class out of my reach as far as work goes, and this class was basically the cornerstone of my spring schedule.  Frack.  On the plus side, the 8 week course in history, which I was wait-listed on, opened up and I was able to get in.  I am both excited and terrified ~ this is a full 3 credit course, which means I will be extremely busy for 8 weeks.  

     I did receive a response the next day from the Dean of Arts & Sciences ~ who is apparently the head honcho for the history department ~ he simply asked me how many hours I need in history, and a day later I received an e-mail from the head honcho of the history department.  Part of her e-mail included this statement:

     I will also make note that while 4pm is technically the beginning of the EWDP offerings, we must be aware classes after 5pm are better for most students.  According to the registrar, the new on-pattern start times for classes for EWDP are: 4pm, 5:30pm, and 7pm.

Well, that's nice.  I wish I knew what EWDP means.  I tried to google it and came up with nothing.  I think e=evening and w=weekend (although the only weekend classes I've ever seen were exercise classes).  D & P?  Your guess is as good as mine.  And although they have classes that start at 4pm and 5:30pm, I've never seen a class in history that starts at 7:30.  Not sure I would take one, as I would probably nod off about 8.  ha ha  At any rate, I wish I had written this letter two years ago.  Although I still have my doubts how much of a difference it will make in the class schedule in the future.  Call me cynical.  

Someone posted this on apt.

Love, 365

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